Godwin Emefiele, Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has said $21 billion was saved from the cut in food importation between January 2015 and October 2018.
The governor said this on Friday at the annual bankers’ dinner held in Lagos.
According to Emefiele, Nigeria’s monthly food import bill fell from $665.4million to $160.4million between 2015 and 2018.
He said the reductions in food import were recorded on rice, fish, milk, sugar and wheat, adding that the policy would be maintained.
His words: “Noticeable declines were steadily recorded in our monthly food import bill from $665.4million in January 2015 to $160.4million as at October 2018; a cumulative fall of 75.9 per cent and an implied savings of over $21bn on food imports alone over that period.
“Most evident were the 97.3 per cent cumulative reduction in monthly rice import bills; 99.6 per cent in fish; 81.3 per cent in milk; 63.7 per cent in sugar, and 60.5 per cent in wheat.
“We are glad with the accomplishments recorded so far. Accordingly, this policy is expected to continue with vigour until the underlying imbalances within the Nigerian economy have been fully resolved.”
While speaking on development finance, he said that in continued recognition of its role as an agent of development and aimed at ensuring self-sufficiency to reduce Nigeria’s excessive dependence on imports, the CBN invigorated its development finance activities.
“We have maintained a particular focus on supporting farmers, entrepreneurs as well as small and medium scale businesses, through our various intervention programmes such as the Anchor Borrowers Programme, Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending and the National Collateral Registry,” he added.